The Importance of Wearing a Retainer After Braces

Wearing a retainer is the most effective way to ensure you maintain the healthy, beautiful smile you achieved with braces. Because wearing a retainer is an important step in preserving your new smile, your orthodontist will discuss your options and provide you with a retainer that is well-suited to your oral care needs. As you wear your retainer, your teeth will settle into their new position and your gums and bones will adjust to the new alignment as well.

Retainers After Braces: Choosing the Right One for You

With both removable and fixed retainers available in a number of colors and designs, you have a variety of options to choose from. When it comes to wearing a retainer, however, there are a number of factors to consider other than simply aesthetic appeal. Some individuals find it difficult to successfully take care of fixed retainers while others have trouble with the removable versions. Your orthodontist will choose a dental appliance according to your individual needs, treatment plan, and preferences.

Removable Retainers vs. Fixed Retainers

Hawley Retainer

A Hawley retainer is a removable dental appliance that includes clasps to help anchor it onto your teeth, along with a wire that holds your teeth in place. The part of the appliance that rests against the roof of your mouth or at the base of your lower gums is typically constructed from acrylic and molded to fit your mouth.

Clear Retainer

Clear retainers are removable as well and made from clear, plastic material. These retainers are molded to fit comfortably over your teeth, serving as a less noticeable alternative to wire.

Bonded Retainer

Wearing a bonded retainer eliminates the responsibility of keeping track of it because the retainer is not removable. You will instead need to carefully clean the retainer as you clean your teeth each day, ensuring that you reach all areas between your retainer and your teeth with a toothbrush and floss.

When to Wear Your Retainer

If you don’t wear your retainer consistently, you run the risk of your teeth shifting after your braces are removed. This could result in the need for additional orthodontic treatment. To avoid this costly outcome, be sure to not only wear your retainer on a regular basis but to also clean it multiple times throughout the day.

Tips for Caring for Your Retainer

Follow these helpful tips to properly care for your retainer.

  • You can ensure that your orthodontic retainer lasts for many years by thoroughly cleaning it daily in order to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Prevent unpleasant odors by soaking your removable retainer in a dental cleaning solution.
  • Because some ingredients in toothpaste can alter the surface of your retainer, ask your orthodontist about gentler toothpaste options.
  • Choose a safe place to store your retainer to prevent damage or loss.
  • Avoid exposing your retainer to sources of heat, such as a dishwasher or direct sunlight. This can cause discoloration or warp the material.

With these tips in mind, you can preserve the health, appearance, and proper alignment of your teeth after your braces have been removed.

For more information about the importance of wearing a retainer, consult a trusted orthodontist at BB Braces Braces. Our orthodontic team is experienced in providing high-quality orthodontic treatment that produces stunning, picture-perfect results. Call us at 770-222-2322, or schedule an appointment online to visit one of our convenient locations near you.